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Guatemala Promo…?

Courtesy: Google Fair-Use Images

On November 18th, 2009 Jorge Chojolan came to Lyndon State College and told his story about the foundation of his school in Guatemala called Miguel Angel Asturias Academy. He set up this school for children who can’t afford daily education. Chojolan talked about how he had a hard life when he was younger, and he wanted to make a change in his life. He started the Miguel Angel Academy because he knew that there were many people like him that weren’t able to get a good education.

At the presentation, Chojolan, along with a translator, gave several figures about Guatemala and it’s education, and those figures proved that not many children get any education due to poverty. Around 80% of Guatemala’s people are poor and make less than $3 a day. There are nearly two million people who are illiterate and only one out of ten children enter high school. In 2007, there were only 51 public schools and 210 private schools in the country. All of those figures were disturbing to Chojolan, so that’s why he formed the Miguel Angel Academy. His academy gives access to education for poor children. The school only charges $10 a month for schooling, and if a family can’t afford the payments, the school gives the family a scholarship to attend the school. The school focuses on teaching them to think and to teach reality. From 1995 to 2009 over 2,500 children have been educated thanks to the academy. The mission of the school overall is to transform Guatemala. The next steps for the school is to improve salaries, furnish four classrooms, construct a third floor, and maybe even open another school. After Chojolan spoke, two other spokespeople for the school and the program clarified some of what Chojolan said, and how American citizens can help Guatemala and the school. They then showed a video about why people should help out Chojolan’s program.

Most of the presentation seemed like a promotional stunt for the program that Chojolan and others created. They didn’t really give specific details about the trip they offered to students who wanted to help the school and Guatemala, and they make the trip seem like more of a vacation than a “mission”. The video they showed looked like one big commercial for Guatemala. They never gave out numbers on how much the program would cost, which it would probably cost in the thousands to go. Those costs would probably include travel, food, lodging, some money towards the school, and payment to the Chojolan and the two other spokespeople to make these presentations/promotional stunts at other school. Chojolan’s school seemed like a great thing for Guatemala, but it seems like they were a lot of hidden figures that the spokespeople weren’t giving us, like on how they afford to run the school on $360 a year from only a handful of students. Also another hidden figure was who pays for Chojolan and the two spokespeople to travel around to schools to promote their program. One of the spokespeople said that a council paid for them to come to Lyndon State College, but they probably didn’t pay for all of the costs. That would have been wicked expensive (lodging, flight, food costs), probably several hundred dollars for each person. While I thought Chojolan’s presentation was insightful, overall I think most of the presentation was a little bit of a promotional stunt.

November 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Veteran’s Day


Courtesy: Google Fair-Use Images

On November 11, 2009, America celebrated Veteran’s Day. Veterans Day is when America honors military veterans. The past several Veteran’s Days have meant a lot to Americans, because we have had so many soldiers fighting in wars. Many lives have been touched by the war we’re in, because a lot of people are related to soldiers or know a soldier that has fought in the war.

Lyndon State College hosted an event on Veteran’s Day to honor soldiers. They did this by having a veteran speak at the event, and have the college chorus sing a song at the event. Not many people attended the event which was unfortunate, and that kind of symbolized how many people don’t recognize the holiday. A lot of older people celebrate the holiday, but a lot of younger people don’t. More people should celebrate this holiday because soldiers do a lot for our country. Soldiers risk their lives everyday when their fighting in a war. They protect our country and our country’s rights. Our country should do a lot more about recognizing Veteran’s Day because soldiers don’t get enough thanks for what they do.

November 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492…

Courtesy: Google Fair Use Images

Courtesy: Google Fair Use Images

Columbus Day is a holiday that is celebrated as a holiday across America. For most people, it means a day off from school. For other people, it means that Christopher Columbus arrived in America. Christopher Columbus arrived in America on October 12, 1492 when he sailed across the ocean blue. Columbus’ original mission was to find a western ocean route to Asia, and instead he found America. It was the first voyage to America and it was the first time that a European encountered Native Americans.

There has been controversy over Columbus Day. Professors Janet Bennion and Alexandre Strokanov of Lyndon State College debated Wednesday whether or not Columbus Day should be observed. The controversy stems from the legitimacy of honoring Columbus as a hero. Bennion stated that Columbus was violent with Native Americans and therefore should not be considered a hero. She said that he enslaved Native Americans and introduced diseases from Europe to America. She also stated that Columbus and his men raped the natives. Strokanov stated that Columbus made great strides in discovering the new land we call America, and that he worked with Native Americans to adventure into America. He also said that Bennion’s sources were not legitimate. The debate got pretty serious and Bennion compared Columbus to a terrorist, because he wreaked havoc with the Indians. She also had her husband at the debate, who was Native American. Strokanov said that Columbus was a hero for sailing across the Atlantic and if it weren’t for him, it would have been much later until someone other than the Native Americans discovered America. Overall the debate was intense, and both sides made fair arguments. Columbus Day will always be observed, but not without some debate.

October 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Local Election…


Courtesy: Vermont Secretary of State

Democrat George Till represents Jericho, Vermont in the House of Representatives. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He went onto graduate school and got his graduate degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Till completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of California San Fransisco. Since 1988 he has been a private physician in Essex Junction, Vermont at Champlain Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He also is an associate professor of OBGYN at The University of Vermont School of Medicine. Till married his wife Ann in 1984 and has two daughters and a son.

Till was elected in 2008 to represent Jericho after Gaye Symington ran for Vermont governor. Healthcare and education are major issues for Till. He is vice-chair for the Mount Mansfield Union School Board, Finance committee chair, and Chittenden East Supervisory Union Executive Committee. He also founded the Mount Mansfield Youth Lacrosse Club and coached for twelve years.

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

It’s New…


Courtesy: HP Cummings Construction

Lyndon State College recently added a multi-million dollar addition to the T.N. Vail Building on campus. The addition includes dozens of classrooms and several professor offices. Most of the classrooms are up-to-date, with smart boards, computers, and projectors. There are two departments that use the building, and they are the meteorology and business departments. Several other departments use the building for classes, but it’s really only the business and meteorology majors that use it.

The building cost the college around $10 million, and a lot of it is going to be paid for by current and future students. I did an unscientific survey about how people feel about the new building, and most people I talked to were not happy about the new building being built. The people who were not happy about the new building were people who had no classes or minimal classes in the new building. They weren’t happy because they have to pay for a building that they barely use, and they wondered why the business and meteorology departments got priority to use the building. They also wondered why it was built, and what’s happening with the old spaces that the business and meteorology majors used to occupy. Was there an increase in student population to add the addition? The people who didn’t mind the new addition were people that had two or more classes in the building. They felt like they were at least getting some use out of the building, so it was somewhat worth their money.

All of the people I talked to said that the building was very nice, but obviously some differed on whether or not it was worth to build the addition. The people who weren’t happy about the new addition hoped they would have more than two classes in the building next year so it would be worth the money their paying for it. They also hoped to see more departments in the building, other than the business and meteorology majors.

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Pink Slips At Statehouse…

State of Vermont Layoffs...

State of Vermont Layoffs...

Pink slips are being handed out today at the Vermont Statehouse after negotiations between the union and Douglas administration failed last night. Both sides were trying to come up with a way to save over seven million dollars in labor costs. The Douglas administration did not accept an offer from the Vermont State Employees Association to use four furlough days, three unpaid holidays, and medical plan surpluses to save jobs.

VSEA director Jes Kraus stated the union would have made great sacrifices to avoid job cuts, but the sacrifices would have had to be met with an assurance than more layoffs wouldn’t happen.

The Douglas administration answered by saying they would need an assurance also so they would be able to find savings in the future to close the $200 million shortfall the state faces.

Secretary Lunderville says pink slips won’t be handed out overnight. The state will first eliminate any empty job positions. Layoffs will probably start in early November.

September 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everywhere But… Fox

Courtesy: FOX Network and Vivirlatino

Courtesy: FOX Network and Vivirlatino

Over the past week, Obama has been on a media blitz. He has been giving interviews on every news station, except for Fox News. This comes after the Fox Network decided not to air the president’s speech on healthcare reform and instead, aired the show “So You Think You Can Dance“. The Fox Network referred viewers to their other cable news network channel “Fox News“. Fox was the only major network not to show the president’s speech, and that did not sit well with White House staff, including the president. All week, the white house staff and Fox have been in a war of words because Fox didn’t think they had to air the president’s speech. Obama is hinting to Fox News he is not very happy with their move, by not giving Fox News an interview. A news analyst who works for Fox News said that Fox should not be punished for the move they made, calling the White House staff “a bunch of crybabies.” Fox said they don’t care that Obama didn’t ask for an interview on Fox News, saying they’ll have plenty of opportunities to interview the president.

This isn’t the first time that Fox has been involved in news drama. Fox has been known in the past for their biased coverage of news and certain political events, which stirs talk about how legitimate the cable news network really is.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Oh High School…


Courtesy: Pleasant Valley Group

I feel pretty confident about writing effective sentences because I was taught well by my high school English teachers. I know I write effective sentences because I usually got good grades on papers I wrote in high school papers and essays and in college papers and essays. When I’m writing sentences, I’m usually not thinking about the structure of a sentence. It usually comes naturally to me, where I don’t have to think about how to write a sentence. In high school, I had a very good English teacher my junior year. She was strict, but she taught the class well. She taught us effective writing skills and how to write efficient sentences. I learned most of the basics on how to write an effective sentence in middle school. Around fifth and sixth grade we learned the basics to writing a sentence, and then in seventh and eighth grade we learned more complex sentence writing skills. Overall, I am pretty confident on how to write effective sentences.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving On…

Courtesy: WCAX

Courtesy: WCAX

The journalist I most admire is Marselis Parsons of WCAX-TV Channel 3 News in South Burlington, Vermont. The biggest thing that I admire about Marselis is that he’s been at the station for over forty two years and has built a news empire in Vermont. He started as a news reporter, and then he became the news director and 6 PM anchor in 1984. It’s very rare that a news anchor stays at a smaller market station that long, and Marselis has done that. He could have easily moved onto a big market station and make a lot more money, but he is really dedicated to Channel 3.

Another big reason why I admire and respect Marselis is because he cares about his job and the station. He has built Channel 3 to be one of the most successful stations in the country, and the most watched news station in the Burlington, Vermont Market. The station also won “Best Newscast in the Nation” in 2003, thanks to Marselis and his staff. Channel 3 has also won tons of Associated Press, Emmy’s, and other awards for their news reporting and newscasts.

Marselis always tries to get the news first to the viewers. He also tries to get the most accurate and complete news coverage on every event his staff and reporters cover. He’s a very smart and intelligent man and has the whole “news thing” down to a science. Channel 3 isn’t the typical news station, where other stations focus on accidents, crimes, and murders. It’s a very unique station, and I think that’s what Marselis wanted for Vermont. It has proved to work at very well, because Channel 3 out does the other news stations in Vermont.

I don’t know many people who don’t watch Channel 3. If you ask anyone in Vermont to name a news anchor, they would most definitely name Marselis Parsons. Many families have grown up with Marselis, and he has become a part of so many lives in Vermont.

It will be sad when Marselis retires next month, and he will be greatly missed in Vermont. Everyone will miss Marselis, because he’s respected by many Vermonters. I feel like Channel 3 will still be a successful station without Marselis, but it’s all thanks to him. It won’t be the same without him at 6 PM.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Still Old School…

Courtesy: WCAX

Courtesy: WCAX

I prefer to get my news through the television because most of the news that gets put on the television is accurate. I get some of my news on the internet, but it’s not always accurate because a lot of it gets updated every hour and sometimes it gets put on the internet too fast, that sometimes it’s not right. I like to watch the local news, regional news, and national news on the television. For local news, I like to watch WCAX or WPTZ because they are always accurate and they are trusted news stations. They also do great coverage of the area. For regional news, I like to watch New England Cable News because they cover local, regional, and national news. For national news I like to watch CBS News and for breaking news coverage I like to watch CNN. CBS has veteran reporters that have a great track record, and they are great reporters. CNN is great for breaking news, because they follow the story in depth and until the breaking news story ends. They also track local stations when covering breaking news since they don’t have crews there, so that is always nice to get their perspective.

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment